Week 3: Depth of Field

My husband bought me a new lens so I could get those oh-so-desired blurry backgrounds.  It is harder than it seems. Everything looks good on that tiny little LCD screen on my camera. Not so much on the computer screen. Lesson learned....I may need to raise the f-stop a bit to get BOTH people in focus. This is good for a beginner, right?

Doug & Amanda...in love

It's been a loooong time since I last visited the National Cathedral. You know how sometimes you remember things from when you were a kid and they seemed so much bigger back then but now they are just average? Well, this was not the case. The Cathedral is huge and very beautiful both inside and out. It was Amanda's idea to select this venue and WOW what a great idea it turned out to be. There seemed to be countless photo ops but here are a few of my personal favs:

Engaged! Blair & Patrick

Blair and Patrick are prepping for a July wedding in Texas! Luckily, Patrick was in DC visiting this past weekend so we found some time to get in some engagement photos before the big day. They were a great couple to work with...natural modeling talent and all!

Week 2: Night Shooting (Plus Amy and Mike....in love!)

Amy and Mike were such a fun couple to work with. They offered me a challenge...night shooting + snow + wind. This was great for a week two challenge. We conquered it and came out with a few nice shots. 

Check them out and let me know what you think! Photographers...I am open to tips here as this was difficult. I read some articles and watched a tutorial with tips...but I bet you have a few magic bullets up your sleeve. Do tell. What is the secret to great night time photography??

Charlie is an Angel!

I had the pleasure of meeting one of my neighbors and capturing some fun photos of her and her pooch, Charlie. What a good dog! Seriously, Charlie was an angel and a perfect pet model. Enjoy the pics...

Take a peek...Charlie

Take a peek....AMY & MIKE

More to come...

Week 1: The Shot that No One Else Got

I thought I would start off with a creative (and not so technical) challenge. I emerged from my cozy apartment and set out today in the 30+ inches of snow to find the non-obvious great photo op. I knew I would find a bunch of folks out and about snapping away to get some pictures of the big DC snow, but I wanted to find something else. I decided to go to one of the most photographed spots in our country - the National Mall, in search of the picture that no one else would take. Plus, I plan to do a shoot there later this week and wanted to scope out the place. As I approached the Washington monument I was a bit disppointed. There really isn't too much there other than the enormous structure pointing to the sky. So, I took a step back and observed. Of course everyone was pointing their cameras to the sky. Not me. I turned around and there it was - the odd water fountain. I smiled because it made me think of the shoot this week and how the girl described her and her boyfriend as one being really short and the other really tall. This should make for a good shot with them. Now, back to the monument. Is there really anything, any angle of this giant thing that hasn't been shot to death? Well, I thought to myself, I bet no one takes photos of the base of the monument with no one around. So I started to take the shot and she appeared in my frame. She wasn't posing for anyone but rather trying to escape the ripping wind coming across the other side of the building. Perfect. No one else got that shot.

Goodbye Green Square, Hello 52 Week Challenge

A lot can happen in a year.

The green square is the fully automated mode on my Canon 40D. For the next 52 weeks I vow to swear off the green square in an effort to develop my photography skills. I am not a professional photographer and have no intention to go back to school to become one (my parents just took a sigh of relief). But, I want to get better and take my hobby to the next level. Oh, and I like structure and goals. I have been trying to figure how to approach the steep learning curve that photography brings and I have found it to be especially difficult to not have a mentor to lean on and learn from.

My plan is simple - each week I will study one new function on my camera or photography skill I would like to learn. I will post one photo each week as a reflection of what I have **tried** to learn.

You can help. If you are a photographer, send me a "to do" - what do you think I should focus on one week? If you are a friend (or stranger) give me feedback on what you see. Be honest - what do you love? hate? (don't be too brutal...I am a novice!).

So, I am hoping a lot can happen in a year...in baby steps. If I dedicate myself to developing one new photography skill each week, I will be 52 steps closer to my goal. I hope to be able to see a significant difference by February 6, 2011.

Shoes...Champagne....and Diamonds